Rainer Ganahl
If The Price is Right

Opening Reception: June 28th, 5-9pm
Dates: June 28th - July 8th 

The Opening Gallery is pleased to announce If the Price is right, a solo exhibition of works by Rainer Ganahl. Installed across the first floor of 42 Walker St, the exhibition attempts to challenge our perception of the relationship between power, capital, representation, and identity. Ganahl's oeuvre portrays the complexities of power relations between different nations, cultures, or regions and engages with questions of social and cultural hierarchy, particularly in relation to class, gender, and race.

If the Price Is Right serves as a commentary on the broader social issues related to
class differences, race, and exploitation. The artist critiques the unjust distribution of wealth, challenges societal norms and prejudices, and invites viewers to reflect on the impact of class on individuals and communities. By exploring these aspects, Ganahl's exhibition challenges global power dynamics, particularly in relation to colonial legacies and postcolonial contexts while it provides a nuanced portrayal of class differences, inviting us to re-examine and question the social structures that shape our lives.

The solo exhibition attempts to interrogate the ways in which Ganahl's works represent power structures and the dynamics of privilege and oppression within them and addressissues of representation and the politics of visibility, particularly regarding marginalized groups. The pieces explore how class differences affect access to resources such as education, healthcare, employment, fashion, and opportunities while they depict the struggles faced by individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in obtaining essential resources, highlighting the systemic barriers and inequalities they encounter. His films often address the concept of social mobility, exploring whether individuals can transcend their class origins and achieve upward mobility. This can be depicted through characters striving to improve their social and economic status, facing obstacles and dilemmas along the way.

This survey also explores Ganahl's innovative approaches to performance and his critique of the fashion system, his use of body movements, and his exploration of the relationship between the performer and the audience. The ongoing project COMME des MARXISTS encompasses Ganahl’s prolific work grouped into a series of fashion
collections. Each collection explores a specific aspect of capitalistic society: from privileged education to labor exploitation, from security and control to climate justice, atmospheric politics, and environmental pollution. Creating connections between the industrial revolution, performance, fashion, and the notion of sustainability, COMME des
MARXISTS, challenges dominant narratives and disrupts traditional power structures and our understanding of the fashion system.

The exhibition aims to provide new insights into Ganahl's artistic practice and its significance within the realm of performance art, film, and fashion while it focuses on notions of mise-en-abyme, time loops and repetition since his multi-media oeuvre challenges the viewer’s perception of time by disrupting linear progression, presenting multiple perspectives, creating temporal dislocation, reflecting on patterns and themes,
and prompting philosophical inquiry. Through these techniques, the works invite contemplation of the cyclical nature of temporal existence and encourage the viewer to question their understanding of time as a fixed and linear concept. Thus, the exhibition aims to provoke philosophical reflection and challenges viewers to question their
preconceived notions of reality and meaning.

About The Artist

Rainer Ganahl is a New York based Austrian-born conceptual artist. His work has been widely
exhibited at prominent cultural institutions including the 48th Venice Biennale, Kunsthaus
Bregenz, Austria, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle
Kunst, Bremen, Germany. His presence at the exhibition »New York - States of Mind« (Haus
der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin/Queens Museum of Art, New York, 2007/08), clearly indicates
Ganahl’s rootedness in the New York art scene.He is the subject and author of several
published catalogues, among them Rainer Ganahl: Educational Complex (Vienna: Generali
Foundation, 1997). Ganahl engages with and critiques various systems of education, and his
work revolves around three key groups: the ‘Seminar/Lecture’ (S/L) series, the ‘Reading
Seminars’ and his language studies (for example, Basic Japanese), all of which emanate from
the early 1990s. He stages his work in lieu of a seminar or lecture and does language and
reading projects with a special feature called the language of emigration. The artist has
described his use of images as ‘visual investigations’, and this is precisely their function –
sociological indexes to a form of intellectual engagement through ‘choice’. As Ganahl himself
has claimed: ‘A multicultural, pluralistic, democratic, non-arrogant, inclusive policy of education
open to heterogeneity is essential for society to survive.’ He studied at the University of Applied
Arts, Vienna (Peter Weibel) and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorff (Nam June Paik).